Featured Stories of the Week

Atlanta, GA – The Varsity

Although I had heard about it for years, in all the times I have been to Atlanta , I had never made time to visit the Varsity.   I was there last week, and oh, so many years wasted.

For the unwashed, the Varsity is the world’s largest hot dog stand.  Covering two acres in downtown , with parking for 600 cars, and seating for 1200, the Varsity has been dishing up dogs, burgers, fries, rings, and their famous “Frosted Orange” beverage since  1928 under the watchful eye of Frank Gordy and his descendents.

Initially operating under the name “The Yellow Jacket, Gordy served hot dogs and bottled Coca-Cola (what else in Atlanta ?)  to Georgia Tech students. Not wishing to limit his clientele to one particular school, the name change came shortly thereafter, along with the move to the present location.

When you sidle up to the counter, and hear the famous cry from the clerks: “What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?”  it helps to know the proper retort.  There’s much more, but this will get you past the basics of ordering:

Hot Dog: Hot dog with chili and mustard
Heavy weight: Same as hot dog but with extra chili
Naked Dog: Plain hot dog in a bun
MK Dog: Hot dog with mustard and ketchup
Regular C Dog: Hot dog with chili, mustard and ketchup
Red Dog: Ketchup only
Yellow Dog: Mustard only
Yankee Dog: Same as a yellow dog
Walk a Dog (or Steak): Hot dog to go
Steak: Hamburger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle
Chili Steak: Hamburger with Varsity chili
Glorified Steak: Hamburger with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato

There are 5 locations these days .  But the original is the place for the complete Varsity experience.  Bring the kids, but not much money.  A meal at the Varsity is well under five bucks.  Unless you order like I do.

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The Varsity on Urbanspoon

Birmingham, AL – Krystal Mini Dogs

I couldn’t pass up Krystal’s version of chili dogs, mild curiousity.  For those of you not living in the South, Krystal is to Southerners what White Castle is to Northerners/   I wanted to try the Krystal “Pups” just because they were cute – diminutive versions of the chili dog, small enough to fit three into a standard styrofoam container.

There being only two in my foto is not to be taken as a sign that one was consumed.  I, in fact, only ordered. two.  Should it surprise me that the included frank had the most flavor of any that I tried?  Not really, I guess.  In annual surveys of fast food joints, both Krystal and White Castle rate at the top of the scale for quality of food ingredients.  They have “purer” ground beef that the McDonalds of the world, for example, so it made perfect sense to me that the “Pups” on their own, would taste good.  The chili was better than most, but still not what I was looking for.

You have a choice of pups


Krystal Mini Dogs

Krystal Mini Dogs

Atlanta, GA – The Vortex

The Vortex,  Atlanta, GA, has been on my “must………..stop………………eat”  list for a long time.  Underground whispers, street rumors,  gossip have long been around about the famous “Double Coronary Bypass Burger”,  a legend if there ever was one.   One-half pound of sirloin, topped with two fried eggs,  four slices of America Cheese,  five slices of bacon, and the bun?   Glad you asked.  A singular delicious grilled cheese sandwich taking the place of each bun half.  Yep, two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.

Confronted with the option of devouring this monster, could I?  Would I?  Should I?    Well, turns out at the last moment, someone said “try and onion rings”, and I knew I couldn’t do the Double and the rings at the same sitting, and when would I be here again?

So it was the ordinary Coronary Bypass Burger, which forgoes the grilled cheese(s) for a regular bun, is missing one fried egg, 1 strip of bacon, and 1 slice of american processed cheese food.

It was incredible.   And nice pickle!


Vortex Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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